Region

Russia

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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News
Lavrov on diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, as poll results suggest Arab street is indifferent to Ukraine situation

Lavrov on diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, as poll results suggest Arab street is indifferent to Ukraine situation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Bahrain and Saudi Arabia this week as part of efforts to consolidate relations with the region, despite the international outcry over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The visit comes amid finding in a poll by YOUGOV that show that the Arab street is largely indifferent to the events in Ukraine. Faisal Abbas, the Editor in Chief of Arab News which commissioned the poll, in an article on 30 May, said that "most strikingly, perhaps, the findings lay bare the extent of the distrust of the West across all 14 of the countries covered in the survey. Almost a quarter of the 7,835 people surveyed (24 percent) pointed the finger of blame for the conflict squarely at NATO, while more than one in ten (13 percent) said US President Joe Biden was responsible. Only 16 percent blamed Russia." Abbas says that "this can be attributed in part to Russia’s massive investment in its own news channels in Arabic, and to a massive online outreach effort. But underpinning the widespread Arab skepticism on this issue is not so much the success of Russian propaganda, but rather the steady ebbing away of trust in the West over the past two decades."

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Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a life-changing moment for many of us

Opinion: The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a life-changing moment for many of us

"Looking at the current situation in Ukraine, there is no room for myself and other young people from the Middle East to think positively anymore about the Russian state and regime", writes Noman Ahmad in this op-ed. "As a young man from the Middle East,  and much as I dislike foreign interventionism, I do not want the Ukrainians to suffer from what many people in the Middle East faced for the past twenty some years, and I also hope that people in the region stop admiring Russia unjustifiably."
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News
"Drive this evil out"

"Drive this evil out"

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has made an impassioned plea to his countrymen to drive the invading Russian army out of their land. Speaking in televised broadcast on Saturday night he told Ukrainians they have "withstood the blow" of Russia's invasion as he urged citizens to continue fighting. Mr Zelensky told the country that the time has come for them to launch a fightback. "You need to go out and drive this evil out of our cities," he said.
Editor's choice
Analysis
Isolated

Isolated

In a historic vote in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine on Wednesday (2 March), Putin's Russia found itself isolated from the rest of the international community, with only North Korea, Belarus, Eritrea and Syria supporting its position in the 193 member world body. 141 countries voted for the resolution, 5 voted against and 35 abstained. 12 countries were absent. The vote was a stark revelation of Russia's isolation in the international community as it pursues its aggression against Ukraine. In a similar situation in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the move received the support of 100 countries. This time the number was up by 41 countries, sending a resounding diplomatic message. The number of abstentions in 2014 was 58, compared to 35 this time. 24 countries were absent in 2014, this time only 12. Those supporting the Russian position in 2014 were 11, this time the number is down to 5.
Editor's choice
Editorial
Editorial: Give Ukraine and the other trio countries an EU membership perspective now

Editorial: Give Ukraine and the other trio countries an EU membership perspective now

A European Parliament resolution yesterday urged EU countries to work towards granting Ukraine EU candidate status. A membership perspective in the form of candidate status is not membership. It is a political signal that the door of membership is open, and an opportunity to focus minds on all the sides to start the long and laborious process of EU membership. Whilst the resolution of the European Parliament speaks only about Ukraine, the three trio countries should be given the membership perspective and candidate status simultaneously. All three are very determined in pursuing this path; all three have strong Association Agreements with the EU; and all three are under considerable Russian pressure. A membership perspective will strengthen the hand of those working for reforms in these countries. It will also send another message to Putin's Russia that its nefarious policy towards the neighbours has failed. Now is the right time to do that. Give Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia a membership perspective now! Give them candidate status and work with them to make this an achievable task within this decade.